The Game Developers Conference (GDC) has released the results of its annual survey about the current state of the games industry. Here are the key takeaways from the study, including devs’ views on the metaverse and consolidation.

Game developers remain skeptical of the metaverse and its future, according to GDC

Horizon Worlds

More than 2,300 developers participated in the 2023 State of the Game Industry survey. It was conducted by the GDC in collaboration with Game Developer. Most respondents were game designers, programmers, production managers, and artists working at indie (39%) or AAA (23%) companies.

Key data from the survey

  • PC remains the top platform, with 65% of developers making their games for it. It is followed by PlayStation 5 (33%), Xbox Series X|S (30%), Android (27%), and iOS (26%).
  • Cloud seems to be gradually gaining popularity. 7% of respondents are planning to make their next projects for Xbox Cloud Gaming. 4% want to develop a game for PS Plus (Extra or Premium).
  • Most developers prefer premium (50%) or free-to-download (36%) business models. Paid DLCs and in-app purchases are also in the top 5.
  • Blockchain-driven monetization and premium tier subscriptions are the least popular models, with only 4% using them in their games.

  • 14% of respondents named Fortnite as the likely winner in the metaverse race, followed by Meta’s Horizon Worlds (7%), Minecraft (7%), Roblox (5%), and Google/Apple (3%).
  • Despite all the buzz surrounding the term, 45% of developers, compared to 33% in 2022, believe that “metaverse concept will never deliver on its promise.”
  • “The ‘metaverse promise,’ as it stands, is nothing. The people trying to sell it have no idea what it is, and neither do the consumers,” one of the respondents said, citing the lack of clear definition and high barrier to entry as the main issues, while adding that most metaverse companies are now “reinventing the wheel.”
  • 75% of developers are not interested in blockchain technology, with 61% saying they are opposed to it. Some of them noted that blockchain gaming in its current form is unsustainable and predatory.

  • 62% of respondents work 40 hours per week or less, and only 4% of developers chose the “More than 60 hours” answer.
  • Self-pressure is still the main factor causing overtime. 14% of developers said they were pressured by management, and 11% felt ‌peer pressure.

  • 17% of respondents think that major M&A deals will have a positive impact on the games industry. But 44% are negative about the consolidation trend, and around one-third said they were unsure.
  • Some believe that consolidation is bad for innovation and diversity of products, while others think “we should not be afraid of it.”

More data can be found in the full report.

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